Danger looms as Coconut Bridge weakens
Barely a week after about 29 vehicles were razed in an inferno in Apapa, Lagos State, the Coconut link bridge has turned to death trap for commuters. The bridge, which is located in Olodi-Apapa area of the state, is in grave danger of collapse.
Investigations by The Guardian showed that one of the beams holding the bridge was seriously damaged by the fire that raged under the bridge for over two hours last week.
The heat from the fire, it was discovered, has weakened the beam, thereby compromising its strength and ability to hold the bridge, which is mostly used by heavy-duty vehicles.
Consequently, road users are panic-stricken that if nothing is done to strengthen the bridge, it may collapse soon, especially with tankers and trailers, which have already converted the bridge to a parking lot and mechanic workshop.
A tanker driver, Sheriff Atolagbe, told The Guardian that since the unfortunate fire incident, people are afraid to use the bridge for fear of an imminent collapse. He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene and fix the bridge before another disaster occurs.
Another driver, Ben Esosa, said the Apapa road has completely become an eyesore “to the extent that we even worry if we still have government in this country. Government should seize the opportunity of attending to the failing bridge to also fix the dilapidated Apapa road, which has become a source of worry over the years.”
It would be recalled that a speeding petrol tanker skidded off the road under the bridge and exploded in flames. The fire raged for more than two hours leaving two persons dead and burning no fewer than 29 vehicles at a nearby mechanic workshop.
The fire was eventually put out by fire-fighting operations units of nearby oil depots and fire stations from Alausa, Sari Iganmu, Ilupeju and Isolo.